NYU’s Creative Writing Program has teamed up with Ireland’s Arts Council to establish an award to honor an outstanding Irish fiction writer.
The Laureate for Irish Fiction, developed by the Arts Council and supported by University College Dublin (UCD) and the Irish Times, is also aimed at encouraging the next generation of Irish fiction writers.
The Laureate will be awarded by the Arts Council to an Irish writer of national and international distinction, writing in the English language. The honor will be used to promote Irish literature nationally and internationally and to encourage the public to engage with high-quality Irish fiction.
The Laureate will have a three-year term. Over the period, he or she will teach creative writing to students at University College Dublin and NYU, will spend time developing his or her own work, and will participate in a number of major, public events and promotions. The Laureate will receive €150,000—approximately $200,000—over the three years.
“The NYU Creative Writing Program is honored to partner with these respected literary organizations to bring a distinguished Irish writer to our campus,” said Deborah Landau, director of NYU’s Creative Writing Program. “NYU is uniquely placed to raise the profile of Irish writing globally.”
“I am very proud that the Laureate for Irish Fiction has been created by the Arts Council,” said Pat Moylan, chairman of the Arts Council. “The Laureate represents a milestone for Irish literature and will place Irish writing at the forefront of global public thought.”
She added: “The Laureate will be a terrific honor for a literary fiction writer and his or her work will benefit all emerging writers. The Laureate will have an impact on the wider public through major events, a blog and promotions each year, all with the purpose of getting people reading high quality literary fiction.
“Irish fiction has a high international reputation and the Arts Council is keen to celebrate our writers’ achievements and to encourage even more people to read great work. I am particularly excited about how people will be able to get involved with the Laureate and his or her work and I look forward to the person’s appointment next year.”
“The Irish Times has a proud tradition of excellent writers and we are delighted to support this,” said Denis Staunton, the paper's deputy editor. “The Laureate will build on the illustrious literary history of the Irish and aim to encourage the next generation of Irish writers.”
“Through this initiative, the Laureate will raise the profile of Irish writing globally,” said Hugh Brady, president at University College Dublin. “I am confident that this program will contribute to enhancing Ireland’s global reputation and most importantly, the reputation of Ireland as the center of excellence for literature.”
The Arts Council will coordinate the nomination process which will begin immediately and include key members of the literary community as well as a spread of national organizations.
The judging panel for the final selection will include a high profile Irish writer, a high profile US writer and representatives from the Arts Council, UCD, NYU, and the Irish Times.